Final Four's move to cable could be a boon for Time Warner | James Cable is acquired by BCI Broadband | Suddenlink offers ad, service bundles for business customers
April 10, 2013
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Final Four's move to cable could be a boon for Time Warner
The NCAA men's basketball tournament as soon as next year could shift the Final Four and championship game from CBS to Turner Broadcasting channels, ahead of a planned move in 2016. Currently, Turner's TNT, TBS and truTV air the tournament's first three rounds, and CBS handles the later rounds. Such a move, which both CBS and Turner said was undecided, could help Turner parent Time Warner as it enters carriage talks with its pay-TV partners. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/7)
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Local Television
James Cable is acquired by BCI Broadband
James Cable, a small-market operator with a presence in six states, is being acquired by BCI Broadband. The latter is a midsize MSO led by former Bresnan Communications executives that recently closed on its first acquisition, the 40,000-customer Allegiance Broadband. The terms for the James Cable deal were not made public. Multichannel News (4/4)
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Suddenlink offers ad, service bundles for business customers
Suddenlink has "eliminated the quarantine" between its commercial services and local ad sales units, according to Kevin Stephens, president of commercial and advertising operations. As a result, the cable provider has become one of the few to open a "one-stop shop" selling bundles of media, ad and commercial services, Stephens said. The commercial services division under Stephens boosted its 2012 revenue to almost $258 million, with nearly 1 in 10 commercial clients signing up for voice, video and Internet services. Multichannel News (subscription required) (4/8)
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Campaigns and Agencies
NBCU, FX target the upfront crowd with campaigns
The FX cable channel and NBCUniversal are among the networks rolling out business-to-business campaigns in advance of the television-ad negotiations known as the upfronts. FX's efforts include street signs in New York and the tagline "Fearless," while NBCUniversal's campaign, from internal agency All Day Every Day, includes a themed website and print ads employing augmented-reality elements and online video. "[W]e want our clients to know as we go into the upfront, and beyond, ... that we're able to work with them as one seamless portfolio," says John Shea, NBCUniversal's executive vice president and chief marketing officer for integrated media. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Media Decoder blog (4/2)
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"Mad Men" picks up season-long sponsor in Nationwide Insurance
Nationwide Insurance has signed up as a sponsor for the full sixth season of "Mad Men," the first advertising the company has done on AMC. "As part of the deal, Nationwide will run during a coming episode of 'Mad Men' a special commercial, styled to resemble a programming vignette," writes Stuart Elliott. The deal was brokered during the upfronts by Universal McCann. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (4/4)
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Research and Report
Neuroscience study shows that social TV boosts engagement
Viewers are 9% more engaged with television programs when they are simultaneously interacting with social media, according to a study by WPP's MEC, Neuro-Insight and Australian network Seven. The study is said to be the first using neuroscience measurement to explore the topic of social media and TV engagement, writes Steve McClellan. James Hier, chief strategy officer at MEC, concludes that "advertising messages should capitalize on viewers' heightened receptivity to details and that we should optimize the type and timing of advertising messages with a TV program." MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (4/5)
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Analyst: Nick is trending up, children's TV market is down
Nickelodeon has begun to stabilize its ratings, posting a small increase in Q1 among the 2-11 audience, compared with the same period in 2012. However, the marketing outlay for children's cable networks is off by 13%, due to "underlying weakness in film and toy spending," says Nomura Securities analyst Michael Nathanson. Starting in July, movie ads should begin to improve, Nathanson projects. MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (4/8)
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Next Gen Advertising
Coors Light races after young NASCAR fans with app sponsorship
Coors Light is integrating its "Cold Hard Facts" ad theme into a NASCAR application as part of a deal with Turner Broadcasting. "Winning with 21- to 27-year-olds is important to the ongoing success of Coors Light, and we know the NASCAR mobile user is part of that demographic," says Brad Feinberg, MillerCoors' media services marketing manager. Mobile Marketer (4/4)
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Bravo reaps benefits of integrating ads with programming
Bravo next season plans to boost the number of ad integrations in its programming, such as a recent promotion featuring Kraft dressings' "Zesty Guy" as the guest bartender on "Watch What Happens Live" and in ads aired during the show. Bravo, which ranks ninth among TV networks with the 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 demographics, is launching 17 unscripted series and renewing 18 others. The network also is developing three scripted series and is boosting its digital profile with a special online competition for "Top Chef Masters." The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Media Decoder blog (4/2), Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (4/2)
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Programming News
USA is prime-time champ for 27th consecutive quarter
USA Network in Q1 notched its 27th consecutive prime-time win among ad-based cable entertainment networks, attracting 3 million viewers on average, about the same as last year. Disney Channel came next, with 2.5 million viewers, a 5% increase; followed by History, with 2.5 million, a 10% jump; ESPN, with 2.1 million, an 8% drop; and TBS, flat at 2.1 million. Multichannel News (4/8)
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"Mad Men" is off to a solid start for Season 6
AMC, for Sunday's night Season 6 debut of "Mad Men," garnered 3.4 million viewers and an average of 1.65 million in the 25-to-54 demo. The overall audience was lower than the previous season debut of 3.54 million, while the demo figure was flat. The two-hour episode was off by 13% among the 18-to-49 group, attracting 1.4 million viewers in the category. Adweek (4/8)
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Digital Media
EBay to allow its data to be used for targeted ad sales
EBay will begin allowing its proprietary customer data -- which has been used to drive sales by facilitating similar-item offerings -- to be used by advertisers looking to target their products to specific groups of likely buyers, says Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of digital display in North America. The plan, seen as a way for the e-commerce company to keep up with Amazon, calls for the data to stay in-house, Howard-Sarin adds. Adweek (4/8)
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Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work."
-- Michael Novak,
American philosopher, journalist, novelist and diplomat
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About NCC Media
NCC Media is the ad sales, marketing and technology organization that represents cable, satellite and telecom operators in every U.S. market. NCC Media meets marketers' needs to target consumer prospects efficiently and effectively in the communities where they live. Jointly owned by three of the nation’s largest MSOs – Comcast Cable, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable – NCC Media is constantly evolving to maintain its status as the industry’s most effective multi-platform sales organization. Consistent innovation and growth makes NCC Media your best partner in building the media plan of tomorrow, and today.

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